Microbial Life > Resources for K-12 Teachers and Students > AWCS > Process

Protistan Tales of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps


A WebQuest exploring the microbial diversity of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps


Introduction Task Process Resources Evaluation Conclusion Teachers

Process



This WebQuest is composed of two parts: background research and storytelling. It is important that all team members contribute to each phase of the story production.


Background Research
  1. You must first understand the protists of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps in order to turn them into characters of a story. You will work as a team of biologists to explore the characteristics of protists and the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp habitat, in general. Use the provided resources to help organize your thoughts.
  2. Atlantic White Cedar Swamp
    The northeast coast of mainland USA is characterised by numerous swamp habitats. The above swamp is distinguished by its association with the white cedars. Image provided by Virginia Kline and the microscope web site.
  3. Once your group has a general understanding of the microbes and their environment, you will individually choose three of the following organisms to research in detail:
    • Acanthocystis
    • Amoeba
    • Coleps
    • Epistylis
    • Euglena
    • Metopus
    • Paramecium
    • Spirostomum
    • Stentor
    • Vorticella

    Coordinate to ensure that everyone chooses different organisms. General characteristics to research for each organism are:

    • anatomy
    • diet
    • locomotion
    • reproduction
    • classification
    • other distinguishable features
    Use the provided resources to help you get started.

  4. Share your notes with the rest of the group. Try to visualize how your microbes might relate to other microbes. Begin to personify your organisms.

Protists of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps:  Acanthocystis, Coleps, Spirostomum, Paramecium, Metopus, Euglena, and Stentor.
Protists of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps. (Left to Right) Acanthocystis, Coleps, Spirostomum, Paramecium, Metopus, Euglena, and Stentor. Images courtesy of microscope .


Storytelling
  1. By now you should have developed background information for the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp and a few of the microbes that live there. It is time for the creativity to begin! As a group, assign individual roles to each member:
    • Writer—You are responsible for writing the story. While all members will contribute to the storyline, you are responsible for putting it into words.
    • Artist—You are responsible for all artistic illustrations. You may include downloaded images of protozoa, but you should also create original illustrations that specifically support the storyline.
    • Storyteller—You are responsible for telling the story. You will use visual aids created with the help of fellow team members and should be creative in your performance.
  2. Work as a group to produce a creative, illustrated story about the protists of Atlantic White Cedar Swamps. Following in the footsteps of the great storyteller Aesop, apply personality traits to your organisms in order to create a vivid, colorful tale. Use the provided resources to learn more about incorporating anthropomorphism into your storytelling.
  3. Everyone should contribute to the storyline. You will give a live perfmance of your fable and will then submit it for publication in the form of an illustrated short story.

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